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Posts Tagged ‘Falkner Winery’

Holiday Wine Pairing Guide

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Mom’s stuffing, Aunt Nancy’s cranberry sauce and your sister’s sweet potatoes.  Menu: done!  But what about the wine?  Choosing a bottle (or two!) of wine to bring to the holiday table can be tricky.  Appealing to not only your menu, but to a cross-section of practiced palates and novice wine drinkers may seem challenging.  But don’t stress out over one of the simplest tasks of the holiday season. Make it simple.  Any wine you enjoy is a good wine!

One certainly doesn’t need to look to others to rate, score or direct you to make a particular wine choice. Bring a wine you’re familiar with to the table.  Chances are it’ll be just fine – and maybe even sublime!

First and foremost, don’t worry about pairing with the herbaceous, the tart or the sweet accompaniments to your turkey, ham or prime rib.  It’s much simpler to match the wine to the main protein dish.  Here’s a few tried and true varietal selections for some classic holiday main dishes:

Wines to Serve with Ham
Ham just begs for a something lightly sweet.  Look for wines with a touch of residual sugar like a Baily Vineyard & Winery Riesling or a Maurice Car’rie Winery Gewurztraminer.  Both are lighter in style, a bit lower in alcohol and still offer plenty of food-friendly acidity and crowd-pleasing palate appeal.  If you’re looking for an easy to pair red, go for a lighter style like Tempranillo.  Great examples can be found at both Robert Renzoni Vineyard & Winery and at Danza del Sol Winery.

Wines to Serve with Turkey
Although an array of whites work perfectly well, Sauvignon Blanc is an all-time, hands-down favorite pick that holds up well to turkey – and all it’s side dishes. Temecula Valley provides the perfect playground for growing this varietal, so you’ll find many great examples of it here.  Beautifully aromatic offerings from the musqué clone can be found at Hart Winery and at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Soft red varietals like Syrah also make suitable partners; you can find some fabulous ones at Falkner Winery and Leoness Cellars.

Wines to Serve with Prime Rib
White wines will have a hard time keeping up with the likes of Prime Rib, but there are so many reds to choose from that make impressive cohorts, you’re sure to find one you’ll all enjoy.  Choose an affable Cabernet Sauvignon from Callaway Vineyard & Winery, a food friendly Italian varietal like Montepulciano or Sangiovese from Cougar Vineyard & Winery or an amazing Super Tuscan blend, Due Rossi, from Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery.

Happy Holidays!

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Mother’s Day in Temecula Wine Country!

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Spending the day in Temecula Valley’s Wine Country……well, we can’t think of a better gift for Mom this Mother’s Day!  We’ve got you covered with brunches and lunches and everything in between. Here’s a list of wineries celebrating all of the Mom’s out there:

Baily Winery
Mother’s Day lunch at Carol’s Restaurant /
May 14 / 3-course lunch from 11:00-3:00 / Menu and prices will be posted on our website on May 1st.  It will be reservation only, credit card necessary for reservation / For reservations call 951.676.9243 or visit www.Bailywinery.com

Bel Vino Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 14 / Two seating’s: 9:30 to 11:30 and 12:30 to 2:30 / Set up on top of Bel Vino’s Hilltop Terrace, we will be hosting a bottomless mimosa brunch, to include an Egg Bar, Bagel Bar, Carving Station. Spring Salad, Chicken and Waffles, Assorted Desserts, Crab Cakes, Yogurt Parfaits, Fruit Varieties, Live Music and more! Wine and Beer Extra. Children 3 and under are free / $83.99 for non-members, $71.06 for Wine Club Members, $29.67 for children / Call 951-676-6414 to make reservation.

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Mother’s Day Special Treat
/ May 14 / 11am-6pm / Join us for a Special Treat…Bubbly Peach Sangria Flute Floats! / $8 each; Logo flute INCLUDED. $4 each for Wine Club Members!  The first 25 guests to pre-pay will also receive a long stem rose for Mom!  Come by…call 951.767.8398…or email events@cougarvineyards.com to pre-pay.

Danza del Sol Winery
Mother May I GET SAUCED?!! / May 14 / 1:00p -4p / Treat Mom to a fun filled afternoon of food, wine, and culinary entertainment for Mother May I GET SAUCED?! / Price: $58.50 – $65.00 / Please check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for additional information and reservations.

Europa Village
Mother’s Day Lunch / May 14 / 12pm-3pm / Gourmet three-course champagne lunch prepared by Executive Chef Dean Thomas. Live music by Jimmy Patton / Tickets $54 per person, children 10 & under $17. Tickets available via website www.europavillage.com or calling Event Department (951) 695-7175.

Falkner Winery
Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch in the Pinnacle Restaurant
/ May 14 / 10am-3pm / For a full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com. Live Entertainment will be provided / Cost: $69.95+/person (Wine Club $59.95+/person) Children (3-10) $29.50+/child (Wine Club $24.95+/child) / Reservations required please call 951-676-8231 option 4.

Lorimar Vineyard & Winery
Treat Mom to a Special Champagne Brunch / May 14 / 10am or 12:30pm / Located on our Vineyard Lawn / $60 regular, $55 WC / Tickets available through www.lorimarwinery.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Mother’s Day at Annata Bistro/Bar / May 13 and May 14 / 11:00am – 7:00pm / Celebrate Mother’s Day all weekend at Annata Bistro/Bar! All Moms receive one complimentary classic Mimosa on Mother’s Day weekend, plus we’re running a limited time Mother’s Day menu / For reservations and information please visit https://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/MothersDay

Oak Mountain Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch in The Cave / May 14 / 11am-4pm / For a complete brunch menu please visit our Events page at www.oakmountainwinery.com / $39 pp., Members $30 plus tax, includes 1 glass new Release Wine. Children, ages 6-12 are $15 +tax – 5 years and under are free. Gratuity not included; no refunds within 24 hours / Reservations 951 699-9102, events@oakmountainwinery.com

Thornton Winery
Mother’s Day Buffet / May 14 / 11am-4pm / Cost: $62.95 plus tax & gratuity (Adults). $22.95 plus tax & gratuity. Child 12- 6 yrs. old $19.95 plus tax & gratuity. (5 years and under – FREE). Call for Reservations: (951) 699-0099

Wilson Creek Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 14 / 10am – 3pm /Enjoy live entertainment, our annual Petting Zoo, and a special bottle of wine to go home with mom! / Buffet + unlimited Sparkling Wine $64.95. Buffet Only $58.95. Children $14.95 / Reservations are required, online at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or by calling 951-699-9463.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Maple Sugar-Ginger Roast Pork

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

hd-200912-r-maple-sugar-ginger-roast-pork

This pork loin roast is marinated with a sweet-and-spicy combination of maple sugar, ginger and crushed red pepper; the sugar melts to form a luscious glaze as the meat roasts.  Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon for the perfect holiday meal!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, tied
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons maple sugar (see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Blood orange slices, red currants and sprigs of mint, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Using a small, sharp knife, make thin slits all over the pork loin roast and slip a garlic slice into each one. In a small bowl, mix the maple sugar with the ginger, salt, red pepper and olive oil. Rub the paste all over the pork, wrap it well in plastic and refrigerate overnight in a small roasting pan; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the pork for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400° and roast the pork for about 35 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Discard the string and carve the pork into thin slices. Arrange on a platter, garnish with the orange slices, red currants and mint and serve.

Notes:

Maple sugar, made from reduced maple syrup, is available at specialty-food stores. Alternatively, use granulated brown sugar.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Oak aging softens and flavors the wine with notes of oak, vanilla and spice.

Carter Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 4 ~ Full bodied and velvety upon first taste, this is a supple wine with great varietal intensity.

Falkner Winery 2013 Syrah Rock Creek Vineyards ~Enjoy the wonderful red ruby color of this Syrah and the delicious flavors of plum and raspberry.

Hart Winery 2013 Syrah ~ This old-vine Syrah displays rich fruit, great depth and color, and a long, lingering finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of foodandwine.com

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It’s a Foodie Paradise!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

leoness

Most guests who are new to our wine country don’t realize just how unique the Temecula Valley Wine Country really is. Although, there are several aspects that make us unique, our thriving culinary scene certainly stands out at the top of the list!  In fact, there are over 15 of our wineries that have restaurants or eateries on their property.  Top chefs from all over Southern California are taking up roots in Temecula Valley Wine Country and several Temecula winery restaurants have received national acclaim.

One such restaurant, The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars, was recently rated #1 Winery Restaurant by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice.  Also voted Best Restaurant of the IE (Inland Empire) for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, The Restaurant at Leoness features a variety of appetizers, colorful salads, unique flatbreads, and seasonal Chef Selections.

Additionally, The Restaurant at Ponte Winery was rated by OpenTable as one of the top 100 restaurants in the US for outdoor dining.  Their al fresco dining area is surrounded by vineyards and beautifully manicured gardens.

At Ponte Vineyard Inn, Bouquet Restaurant was recently awarded the TripAdvisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence! Dine indoors or out in the fine dining setting located at the luxurious AAA Four Diamond Inn, surrounded by manicured Italian gardens with stunning views of the vineyard and our 1-acre pond. Or, if you’re just looking for a quick bite, the alluring and elegant underground Cellar Lounge is located on the basement level of the Inn and features signature cocktails, craft beer, gourmet entrées and small plates.

No stranger to winning awards, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vineyard Rose Restaurant has been the winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past five years.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, pairing their seasonal menu expertly with their award-winning wines.

Be sure to visit one of our winery restaurants on your next visit to Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country.  You’ll be glad you did!

Additional award-winning Temecula Valley Winery Restaurants:

Avensole Restaurant & Marketplace –  As Temecula’s newest Wine Country restaurant, Avensole offers a charming place to savor eclectic foods and delicious wines in a lively atmosphere.

Breezeway Grill at Lumiere Winery – Enjoy beautiful vineyard and mountain views from the patio of the Breezeway Grill.  Try the new peaches and ice cream dessert made with Lumiere’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery – Walking into Carol’s is somewhat like walking into a medieval or European castle. The menu features a variety of beautiful entrée salads, appetizers, sandwiches, fresh fish, steak, and pasta dishes.

Bel Vino Bistro -Bistro diners enjoy an upscale American menu with plates such as the seared albacore sandwich, delicious signature flatbreads, and fresh seasonal salads inspired by Chef Nathaniel Philips.

Meritage at Callaway Winery – Sitting high atop Temecula’s breathtaking wine country, Meritage at Callaway offers guests incredible panoramic views of the rolling hills and vineyards. Guests can enjoy a delightful array of fresh, farm-to-table meals, made from scratch.

Sangio’s Deli at Cougar Vineyard & Winery – Want a quick meal in the midst of wine tasting?  Look no further than Sangio’s Deli.  All Salads and Sandwiches are made to order with Boar’s Head quality products. Sliced meats and cheeses are also available.

Pinnacle at Falkner Winery – The Pinnacle offers great panoramic views, outstanding Mediterranean style food, and high quality service. Critics have consistently praised the food quality, customer service, and great ambiance at Pinnacle.

Baba Joon’s Kitchen at Fazeli Cellars – Baba Joon’s Kitchen provides a unique – and extensive – Mediterranean Persian fusion menu that results in a perfect wine pairing experience.

Flower Hill Bistro at Miramonte Winery – The bistro offers a variety of craft food items from the Fromage + Tomato, to the amazing Roasted Veggie flatbread, to the glorious Piri Piri Half Chicken.

Monte De Oro Bistro at Monte De Oro Winery – Offering casual lunch fare – seasonal salads, Panini’s, and pasta dishes along with delectable appetizers including meat & cheese plates, hummus, and seasonal snacks.

Annata Bistro at Mount Palomar Winery – Annata Bistro/Bar has a full service bar, handcrafted signature cocktail menu, beer on tap, all of the Mount Palomar Wines you know and love, and a Mediterranean inspired menu.

Cave Café at Oak Mountain Winery – With a focus on small plates of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with creative flavor and presentation, head chef Eric Celaya offers a menu with the variety necessary to create snack plates, tapas, light meals, full Mediterranean-style dining, or even just an intimate dessert.

Mama Rosa’s Trattoria at Robert Renzoni Vineyards – Pizzas, gourmet sandwiches and pasta rule the menu here.  Guest favorites include tortellini stuffed with braised short ribs, Gorgonzola cream sauce, garlic and Prosecco, and a meatball sandwich layered with sauce, salami, chili oil and Provolone, baked and finished with basil and Parmigiano.

Café Champagne at Thornton Winery – A breathtaking entrance to the Temecula Valley Wine Country, Café Champagne’s elegance combines with “Contemporary Fusion Cuisine” to create a well-rounded flair for the total gourmet experience.

Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery – Dine al fresco among the vines and enjoy casual, yet tasteful items fill the menu with delicious appetizers, gorgeous salads, scrumptious sandwiches, and of course Creekside seasonally inspired specials.

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Temecula Wine Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Table

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Autumn table setting with pumpkins. Thanksgiving dinner and autumn decoration.

In just a few weeks, your tummy will be rumbling and your mouth salivating with the promise of the once-a-year feast that is Thanksgiving. America’s biggest food holiday serves up the chance to do some serious (and seriously fun) wine and food pairing. Here in Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country, we’ve got the perfect wine pairings to go with each Thanksgiving course. No matter what your budget, this simple guide will have your friends and family giving thanks to you for making their holiday meal extra special.

Light Appetizers + Mellow Whites

These bright yet mellow whites pair well with lighter dishes to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. The floral notes of light white wine complement a fall salad of pears, blue cheese and walnuts; a selection of fruit and cheeses match nicely with a Chardonnay; and light Pinot Grigio will sing next to your pumpkin soup.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2012 Special Selection Chardonnay; $25.00

Danza Del Sol Winery 2015 Pinot Grigio; $28.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Monte De Oro Winery 2015 Nostimo; $23.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Herbacious Side Dishes + Spicy Reds

The spicy notes derived from these unique wine grapes pair especially well with stuffings and gravies seasoned with holiday herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary. Having a vegetarian Thanksgiving? These wines work well with earthy mushroom and winter squash dishes too!

Mount Palomar Shorty’s Bistro Red; $20.00

Avensole 2012 Second Block Zinfandel; $60.95  (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Doffo Winery 2013 Syrah; $58.00

Poultry & Meats + Bold Reds

Whether it’s wine or food, everyone looks forward to the main course. The dark fruit flavors in these big reds will enhance similar flavors in your herb-rubbed turkey or peppered roasts. Whether you’re serving poultry, lamb or beef, all three are bold enough to stand up to a rich meat course.

Baily Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon; $30.00

Fazeli Cellars 2012 Khayyam; $58.00

Wiens Family Cellars 2014 Bare Knuckle Petite Sirah; $48.00

Dessert + Sweet Wines

Your Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without dessert, and no dessert is complete without wine – at least that’s how we feel! Apple pies and pear tarts are practically made to pair with Ponte’s sweet moscato, where red delicious apples, kiwi , pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones. Or try the People’s Choice Blind Tasting award winner, Briar Rose’s Estate Riesling with your fruit tarts or pies.  And for a special treat, buy a bottle of Renzoni port to pair with a fudgy chocolate cake.

Briar Rose 2013 Estate Riesling; $25.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Ponte Winery 2015 Moscato; $28.00

Robert Renzoni Paradiso Port; $49.00

One Meal, One Wine

Looking to simplify your evening by serving one wine from start to finish? Any of these four, well-priced wines fit the bill. Each is lighter on the palate, with only subtle hints of sweetness making them suitable to drink from appetizers all the way to dessert. Bon appetit!

Maurice Car’rie 2015 Chenin Blanc; $20.95

Miramonte Winery 2014 Grenache Blanc; $28.95

Falkner Winery 2015 Sauvignon Blanc; $24.95

South Coast Winery Ruby Cuvee; $22.00

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Summer Wine Pairing Guide

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Wine glasses on picnic table --- Image by © Laura Doss/Corbis

Ah, the sizzle of summer is upon us. Whether you’re spending your hot summer days and long summer nights relaxing at the beach, chowing down at a backyard barbecue, or picnicking in the park under a shady oak tree, these cool and crisp whites, rosés and sparkling wines will please every palate. All of these wines can be purchased online or in the tasting rooms, so choose your favorites this week! Here’s our guide to beating the heat in the most delicious way:

Whites
Lorimar Winery 2014 Chardonnay – Crisp, tart green apple, Bartlett pears and honey suckle with a medium length finish.
Monte de Oro 2014 Pinot Gris –Wine opens up with peach and apricot flavors couples with pears, lemon/lime, guava and kiwi accents.
Briar Rose Winery Citronier– Aromas of exotic fruit with a brilliant lemon flavor. Sure to bring a smile to every summer celebration

Rosés
Oak Mountain Winery 2015 White Merlot – Sweet cherry and raspberry aromas characterize this wine. Soft, round, juicy cherry and berry flavors form structure and a full, rich texture.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2014 La Rosa (Rosé of Sangiovese) –Light strawberry citrus flavors are layered with hints of cranberry, passion & tropical fruit, and a hint of pink grapefruit.
Falkner Winery 2014 Irresistible Rosato –This semi-dry white wine tastes of ripe pear, cinnamon, apple pie, and spice.

Sparklers
Wilson Creek Grand Cuvee Sparkling Wine –Light and refreshing, and very fun. Great in Mimosas! A fun party sparkling wine.
Maurice Car’rie & Van Roekel Winery Pomegranate Sparkling Wine– This lively refreshing California Sparkling Wine is bursting with refreshing flavors of pomegranate – a perfect accompaniment to your summer picnic basket.
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa Pinot Grigio Sparkling – Finished as a “Brut” this is a Pinot Grigio with wonderful nuances of pears and apples, a touch of tropical fruitiness and crisp acidity.

Image by © Laura Doss/Corbis

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The Art of Wine Labels

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

RenzoniWineLabelYou can’t judge a wine by its label—but a beautiful “cover” certainly can’t hurt. Temecula Valley wineries are putting just as much creativity and originality into their label designs as they are in their wines. And the results are inspiring.

Wine labels are the first thing that attracts a consumer when contemplating which wine to choose. Some first-time shoppers even choose a wine by the label–after all, the label builds the anticipation of what’s inside the bottle. It’s the quality of the wine itself that makes customers loyal fans.

Temecula Valley vintners are adorning their bottles with art that is not only beautiful, sometimes even fun, but often tells a sentimental story. The label of Lorimar Winery’s 2014 Chardonnay bears scenic photographs of the vineyard from which it came, in each of the four seasons. The images were taken by Temecula-based photographer Bodhi Smith, and the four-image work, called “Seasons of Del Oro,” is for sale on coasters and as an art piece at the winery.

Oak Mountain Winery’s Double Trouble 2013 Riesling has a bright blue label depicting Buddy and Bandit, the two beloved Queensland Heelers of vintners Valerie and Steve Andrews. The label is a watercolor painting by local artist Tamra Gerard. The artwork also can be found in “Winery Dogs of USA” book #3.

Robert Renzoni Winery’s 2013 Fiore di Fano, a Super Tuscan blend of estate-grown Cabernet, Sauvignon, Brunello Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, has special meaning to owner and winemaker Robert Renzoni. The classically styled painting that adorns the label was a gift from a special friend he met on a journey to his family’s hometown, Fano, Italy.

Wiens Winery’s Red Crowded is a red-wine blend so-named for the “crowd” of varietals in each vintage, such as the Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Barbera, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Cabrenet Franc, Sangiovese and Syrah in the 2014. Red Crowded is one of a series, which also includes White Crowded and Pink Crowded (rosé) blends, fancifully designed featuring appropriately colored red, white and pink birds by local artist Kelly Vivanco. All three designs are available on posters and t-shirts.

Falkner Winery’s 2014 Risque Riesling is illustrated with a sleek black pump and tube of vibrant red lipstick in a classy nod to consumers, often women, according to owner Loretta  Falkner, who like a bit of sweetness in their white wine. Risque Riesling is part of Falkner’s sweet Seductive Series, which also includes a red blend and rosé.

South Coast Winery vintner Jim Carter commissioned artist Tamra Gerard to paint a portrait of his dear Aunt Ruby as she might have looked in the 1920s for his Ruby Cuvée. Both the label and the carefully crafted sparkling Syrah in the bottle are intended to capture the effervescent charm of Ruby Carter, who was always the belle of the ball. The art can be found on t-shirts, posters, coasters and magnets in South Coast’s gift shop.

Newly opened Fazeli Cellars pays homage to owner BJ Fazeli’s homeland with a series of wines named for acclaimed Persian poets. The 2012 Ferdowsi Cabernet Franc is named for Abu Ferdowsi, widely known as the most influential figure in Persian literature, and is designed by BJ’s daughter, Romy Fazeli. The artwork features a stylized grapevine symbolizing Fazeli’s “Our Roots Run Deep” motto.

These are just a few of the beautifully designed wine labels from Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. Not only are the wines carefully and passionately crafted, so are the labels.

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Rosés: A Rise in Popularity!

Friday, April 29th, 2016

glasses-of-rose-wineAmerica has fallen in love with rosé wines, one of the fastest growing segments of the US wine market. Popularized in the South of France, rosé is now made in every major wine region around the world, including Southern California’s premier wine region, the Temecula Valley. As a matter of fact, wineries here have been making rosés for decades – Hart Winery made its first blush wine, a Rosé of Grenache, in 1980, the year the winery opened!

From sensuously sweet to classically dry to splendidly sparkling, Temecula Valley wineries deliver a myriad of styles to suit every palate and occasion.

Rosés are created by limiting the amount of time the skins of the grapes are left to sit with the colorless juice, often for only a few hours. This minimal skin contact creates a wide a range of shades, from pale salmon pink, to raspberry through to deeper strawberry hues. The grape variety will also influence the final tone. Thicker skinned varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Cinsault, lend a slightly deeper berry red to the finished wine, while those crafted from more delicate grapes, like Grenache, may have a paler, rose-petal tinge.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that lighter means leaner when it comes to aroma and taste! Paler wines may explode with just as many notes of strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, cranberry, ripe peach and deep citrus as their bolder-colored cousins.

According to Nielsen, sales of rosé wines priced over $11 are up a staggering 60%, accounting for .2% of all table wine, about the same size as the entire US market for the wines of Portugal or South Africa. One reason for the popularity of rosé, besides its easy-drinking, laid-back, relaxed vibe, is its versatility. It’s easy to sip on its own, at the beach or poolside, and it can be the perfect foil for food. No matter the occasion, you’ll find a Temecula Valley rosé that will prove the perfect compliment.

Sparkling rosé is always a wonderful way to start a gathering of any kind. Award-winning South Coast Winery produces four fabulous blush sparklers including their NV Blanc de Noir, a classic dry style, and the popular Ruby Cuveé with a touch of berry-filled sweetness. Not to be outdone, Thornton Winery has been creating sparkling wines for many years and features several sparkling rosés on its extensive list, as do Oak Mountain Winery, Wiens and Wilson Creek wineries. These high-quality blushing bubblies fall in the $19 to $38 price range.

The region of Provence, in the south of France, is the benchmark for traditional, dry, food-friendly rosé. That tradition is alive and well in Temecula, with many of the wineries emulating this classic style, priced at an average of $22.

Hart Winery has a delightful Rosé of Tempranillo, or venture next door and try Callaway Vineyard & Winery’s Rosé of Sangiovese – it’s won a bevy of awards since its initial 2008 vintage. Travel down Rancho California Road and sample Miramonte Winery’s Rosé, made from a blend of typical Mediterranean grape varieties: Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Oak Mountain Winery, on the DePortola Trail, produces several variations on the Rosé theme, including their multiple-award-winning 2013 River Rhodes Rosé made with 100% Syrah. Or enjoy a bottle of Vindemia Winery’s Vermeille Grenache 2013, a lovely single-varietal blush wine.

If you crave something sweet or off-dry, you will find yourself spoilt for choice. Why not seek out Pink Crowded rosé at Wiens Famiy Cellars, an off-dry blend of Grenache, Zinfandel and Malbec. Or reach for White Zinfandel or White Merlot at Bel Vino, or relax in the gardens of Europa Village while sipping on a cool, refreshing glass of Garnacha Rosa?

Any of these choices would be stellar matches to a wide range of foods. Dry rosé is fantastic with flavorful appetizers such as tapenade, flatbreads, charcuterie platters, hummus, and soft cheeses like chèvre and brie. When it comes to main courses, pop the cork on another bottle of rosé and enjoy it with pizza, a variety of fish or poultry dishes, salads, light meats like pork or ham, or a good, juicy burger!

Off-dry styles are wonderful with firmer cheeses such as Parmesan and aged gouda. Or sample a sip with a strawberry and spinach salad!

And, of course, there’s always room for dessert, with a glass of sweet style rosé! Pair anything featuring berries, peaches, nectarines or spicy ginger with Irresistable Rosato from Falkner Winery (crafted from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon) or Sara Bella White Cabernet Sauvignon from Maurice Car’rie Winery.

Temecula Valley vintners are bottling their rosé wines from the fantastic 2015 vintage now, in early 2016. These wines are made to be consumed fresh, upon release. So grab your beach blanket, fire up the grill or unfurl your finest white tablecloth and get ready for a superb sampling of refreshing, scintillating rosé’s from the wineries of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

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Roasted Chicken Breast with Yukon Gold Potato Cakes and Infused Rosemary Oil Sauce

Monday, February 29th, 2016

chicken-breasts-with-dijon-646

Tender chicken breast with a delicate, rosemary-scented cream sauce served alongside a golden-toasted potato cake with Parmesan. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay.

Ingredients:

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 (3-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

5 medium-sized Yukon Gold, or other waxy potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut in half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup half and half or light cream

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts

2 eggs slightly beaten, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

4 (6-ounce) boneless half chicken breasts, skin on

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup half and half or light cream

½ cup chicken stock

1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

½ teaspoon minced rosemary leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Add the rosemary sprigs and cook for 10 minutes. Set the pan aside.

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender about 20 to 30 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan, off the heat. Add the half and half, butter, and the 1 teaspoon salt. Mix and mash the potatoes with a large whisk or potato masher to a stiff, slightly lumpy consistency.

When the potatoes are completely cool, mix in the scallions, and half of the beaten egg.

Heat the oven to 375° F.

Coat a large baking sheet with the vegetable oil. Form the potato mixture into 8 round cakes, 1-inch thick, and place them on the oiled sheet.

Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the potato cakes with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown.

While the potato cakes are cooking, sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the rosemary oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken breasts skin side down and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook 2 minutes. Spoon the fat in the pan over the chicken breasts.

Place the skillet in the oven (with the potato cakes) and roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest, for at least 5 minutes.

In the meantime, make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of the rosemary oil with the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, and bring to a sizzle over medium heat stirring frequently.

Add the chicken stock and half and half. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and minced rosemary and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, cut each half breast crosswise into 8 slices. Arrange the chicken slices and 2 potato cakes on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Serves 4.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery ~ 2013 Chardonnay – Classic aromas of white peach and pear complemented by toasted almond aromas.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay – Silky and fresh on the palate, reminiscent of tropical pineapples, zesty kumquats, creamy caramel and apples.

Falkner Winery ~ 2014 Chardonnay -Delicious ripe apple and apricot flavors in a medium bodied, creamy textured wine.

Thornton Winery ~ 2014 Chardonnay  – Green apples and barrel spices with a mineral note.

 Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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February Winery Events

Friday, January 29th, 2016

valentines-wineFebruary is filled with some memorable dates; we can’t wait to see if the groundhog will see his shadow on February 2nd, and we’re busily planning our Valentine’s Day celebrations. But, did you know that February 18th is National Drink Wine Day? Can’t think of a better reason to visit Temecula Valley Wine Country this month!

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Romantic Valentine Candlelight Tasting for 2 / Feb. 11th – 14th / 11:30am -3:30pm; Seating every hour / $35 pp / Special Cabernet Sauvignon and port tasting, charcuterie and chocolate plate for 2 / Seating is extremely limited, call today for reservation 951.972.9768 at Baily Estate Tasting Room.

Valentine’s Day Lunch at Carol’s Restaurant / Feb. 13th & 14th / 11:30am-3:30pm / Celebrate Valentine’s Day at lunch and forget the dinner crowd with a relaxing three course lunch. Live Music with Chuck Sacayan on Saturday John Malcolm Penn on Sunday / $29.95 pp. plus tax and gratuity / Reservations only with credit card / For reservations please call 951. 676.9243

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch, doggie treats and special menu items / Doggie costume contest on Nov. 1st / Live acoustic music on the patio.

Estate Club Private Wine Tasting
Thursday-Sunday / 11:00a-2:30p / Tours and vertical tasting of library wines. Sit down with bread and cheese plate; $30 (Reservations required 24 hours in advance) / Bar Tasting; $20. Call for reservations: 951-972-9768.

Bel Vino Winery

Karaoke Night / Every Saturday 6p-9p / Free admission / Karaoke every Saturday night at Bel Vino Winery in the Barrel Room / Happy Hour from 6pm-7pm; Half off wine and beer and open kitchen.
Live Music / Saturday 12pm – 4pm / Sunday 11am-3pm

Briar Rose Winery

Sip Into the Sunset / First Friday of each month / Open until 10pm / Live music from 6p-9m and wine under the stars in our enchanted garden or tasting room / Purchase a glass of wine or a bottle / Outside food allowed at these events only / Reservations required; call 951.308.1098

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Meritage Restaurant / Feb. 13th – 14th / Two seating’s each day, 5pm and 7:30pm / $150 per couple / Enjoy a 3-course wine-paired menu with roses for the ladies and live music / For reservations please visit www.callawaywinery.com

Sweetheart Flights / Feb. 13th & 14th / Couples wine tasting from 11am-4pm / $35 per couple /
Live Music at the Winery Tasting Room / 1pm – 4pm / No charge / Enjoy live music in the main tasting room /

Happiest Hours / Friday’s from 3:00p-6:00p in the lounge at Meritage at Callaway / Grab your friends and join us for a marvelous time! 20% all tapas, 20% off bottles of Callaway wines and available domestic, import and craft beers.

Sangria Sundays at Meritage at Callaway / Every Sunday at Meritage at Callaway / 4pm-8pm/ Enjoy sipping on our very own Watermelon Sangria while soaking in the sunset vineyard views in our main dining room. Live music from local musicians begins at 6pm / No cover charge / Reservations for parties of 5 or more are required.

Carter Estate Winery and Resort

Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $40pp / Available Mid-week 1pm and 3pm; Weekends 1pm and 3pm / Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially-selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with season accoutrements. Each pairing last approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / For reservations call today: 844.851.2138

Cougar Vineyard & Winery

9TH Annual Super Chili Bowl / Feb. 7th / 3pm-8pm / Join us for chili tasting, food, wine, beer and football on the super BIG screen. Chili competition kicks off at 3pm. Only 10 competitors allowed. Official rules apply, must pay in advance to reserve competitor spots / $15 pp for competitors, $25 for wine club, $30 for non-wine club. Price increases by $5 the day of the event / For tickets please email wineclub@cougarvineyards.com or call 951.491.0825

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Wine by the glass or bottle purchase available / Deli is open until 7pm

Sunday Afternoon Live Music / 2pm- 5pm

Europa Village

Friday Night Entertainment / 5:30p- 8:30p / Free / Live music in the Cave / Feb. 5th – Shoot for Tuesday / Feb. 12th – Two Fish / Feb. 19th – Apryle Dalmacio / Feb. 26th – Danielle Taylor

Live Music every Sunday/ 1pm- 4pm / Free / Live music on Veranda / Feb. 7th – Bryan McManus / Feb. 14th- Jimmy Patton / Feb. 21st – Michael LeClerc / Feb. 28th – Joe Baldino

Falkner Winery

Valentine’s Lunch Special for 2 at the Pinnacle Restaurant / Feb. 12 & 14th / $59 for two, plus tax / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Reservations required at 951.676.8231 option 4

Valentine’s Dinner at the Pinnacle Restaurant / Saturday, Feb. 13th, $99 plus tax per person; $89 plus tax for Wine Club / Sunday, Feb. 14th, $115 plus tax per person; $104 plus tax for Wine Club / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by Classical pianist Thomas Reich / Reservations required at 951.676.8231 option 4

Wine Appreciation Class / Saturday, Feb. 20th / 10:00am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45pp; $40pp Connoisseur; $20pp VIP; $70pp with lunch / Reservations required 951.676.8231 x.109.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery

Singles Mix & Mingle / Feb. 11th / 7pm-9pm / Lorimar Winery is hosting its first Single’s Mix & Mingle night. Join us for a night of fun and flirtation in Wine Country / Tickets include light appetizers and a glass of premium wine. Tickets are pre-sale only! / Cost is $15 / Call 951.694.6699 or visit our website at www.lorimarwinery.com

Valentines Day Brunch / Feb. 14th / 10am-1pm / Breakfast for two? Lorimar is hosting a breakfast buffet on the Sunset Patio, which will be exclusively for lovebirds! Breakfast starts at 10:00am and the Sunset Patio will remain exclusive until 1:00pm / $35 per person includes breakfast and mimosas. Wine Club members received 10% off ticket price / Call 951.694.6699 ext. 4 for tickets or visit our website at www.lorimarywinery.com

Leoness Cellars

Live Music at The Restaurant at Leoness / Every Friday & Saturday from 5pm-8pm / Free to the public

Live Music in the Barrel Room / Every Sunday from 1p-4:00p / Free to the public

1963 Winemaker’s Soirée / Feb. 11th / 6pm – 10pm / Cocktail & hors d’oevres, 5 course wine paired dinner, big band entertainment. Come dressed in your 1960’s best! / $100, $90 Wine Club / Reserved seating, call for reservations 951.302.7601 ext.1

The Restaurant at Leoness / Extended Restaurant hours 11am – 8pm, Sunday, February 14th / Special Prefixed 4 course dinner menu being offered for February 14th only. Seasonal February menu will also be available / For menu information and reservations please call 951.302.7601 ext.1 or visit www.leonesscellars.com/Winery-Events

Miramonte Winery

Valentine, an intimate affair Dinner / Feb. 14th / 7pm-9pm / Our most popular dinner of the year! Hosted by Cane & Becky. Expect live musical accompaniment, endless shimmering candlelight, Dom Perignon Champagne reception, 3 courses of fine cuisine, and a remarkable, personalized etched wine commemorating your evening with us. Cane will present the wines of the evening, including barrel samples of the next vintage Opulente and Estate Syrah. It’s always an amazing night and we’d love for you to join us / Seating is very limited; tickets are $120pp for general public, $100pp for club members. Tickets are currently available to Wine Club only until Monday, and then the event is open to the public / Please visit www.miramontewinery.com to reserve.

Live Music & Entertainment / 7pm-10pm / Feb. 5th – Mercedes Moore / Feb. 6th- Devocean / Feb. 12th- Ruben V / Feb. 13th- Bluefish / Feb. 19th- Mickie Arnett / Feb. 20th- Nathan James / Feb. 26th- Midnight Satellites / Feb. 27th- JD Priest

Monte De Oro Winery

Syrah Blind Tasting / February 5th / Reception 6pm; Tasting at 6:30pm / Come taste, compare and contrast up to 10 different Syrah at Monte De Oro. Which one is from France? From Oregon, from Paso? From Temecula Valley? All wines hidden in brown bags – we open them at the end and see the results. / Price$58.00. Wine Club Members $52.00 / Includes 2 appetizer courses and a dessert course / Reservations required at www.montedeoro.com / Subject to minimum participation of 24 guests

Valentines Day Dinner / Feb. 13th and Feb. 14th / Doors open at 7pm. Dinner at 7:30pm / 2 seating’s available / Enjoy a special 5 course meal paired with Monte De Oro’s award-winning wines with your partner and accompanied with live music and dancing. / Price: $150 per couple/$140 for Wine Club members / Reservations strongly suggested at www.montedeoro.com

Divas Half Marathon / Saturday, February 20th. / Starts at 7:30am / Includes complimentary wine tasting / To register visit www.runlikeadiva.com

Mount Palomar Winery

5K Kiss Wine Run / Feb. 6th / 10am-1pm / The annual 5K Kiss Wine Run takes place in the beautiful vineyards of Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula, CA on a scenic, point-to-point course. It starts on the hills of the beautiful Vineyards of Mount Palomar Winery and proceeds to continue on to more amazing views of their spectacular vineyards. You will have live performance by the 80z All Stars, as seen at Disneyland, motivating you to cross the finish line along with those tastings of wine that are waiting for you! Each finisher will receive a 5KHR Mount Palomar Winery Finishers commemorative stemless wine glass. There are also medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, as well as best costume. Register online at http://www.5khr.com/5k-kiss-run

Valentine’s Day Dinner / February 13th and 14th / Enjoy a romantic, four course dinner for two at the newly opened Annata Bistro/Bar. Dinner includes an appetizer, soup or a salad, two entrees, and a dessert to share, plus a bottle of wine, for $120 per couple. Wine club members pay $100 per couple! The full menu and restaurant hours are available online at http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Annata / Reservations only. Please call 951-676-5047 ext.10

Paint Nite / February 28th / Two hour class. Time TBA / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite invites you to create art over a glass of wine at Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and your sense of humor and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!).”Drink Creatively” in the Barrel Room (with our own bar…ooooh yeah) at Mt Palomar Winery / Online details at http://bit.ly/mppaintnites

Oak Mountain Winery

Grand Opening Weekend Tours at The Cave at Oak Mountain / Feb. 13th- 14th / Explorer Tour, $15 / 30 minutes duration / Start your adventure in the Main Tasting room followed by a tour of the grounds and our 10,000 sq. ft. underground wine Cave while sipping on three great wines / Foodie Tour, $55 / 45 minutes duration / Tour includes gourmet grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of soup from our Cave Café to enjoy after your tour and one bottle of any of our white wines / For information and reservations please call 951.699.9102

Valentine’s Day Dinner Celebration / Feb. 14th / 6pm-9pm / Join our owners, Steve & Valerie at Oak Mountain Winery for a Valentine’s Day celebration dinner. Enjoy great food, wine and music by Sterling Productions / $125 per person, plus tax; $110 per person, plus tax for Wine Club Members / For menu information and reservations please call 951.699.9102 or email susan@oakmountainwinery.com / Reservations are required; tickets are non-refundable 3 days prior to event date.

Live Music in the Pavilion
Every Saturday and Sunday in November / 1:00p-5:00p

Ponte Family Estate Winery

Super Bowl Sunday in The Cellar / Feb. 7th / 3:30pm / Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, will air live NFL coverage of Super Bowl 50! / Free to attend.

Valentine’s Day Barrel Room Dinner / Feb. 14th / 5pm-8pm / Treat your sweetheart to a romantic dinner in the Barrel Room this Valentine’s Day! Enjoy a special menu of gourmet fare fit for two while dining to the sounds of live Spanish Guitar / Cost varies. For menu information and reservations please call 951.252.1770.

First Sundays – Live Music in the Reserve Room*
First Sunday of the month/ 12:00p-4:00p / The Lookouts, Classic Rock / The Reserve Room will host a variety of live musical artists the first Sunday of each month in 2015. *The Reserve Room is a tasting room for wine club members only. Join the Wine Club and enjoy complimentary tastings in our exclusive venue.

Live Music in The Cellar Lounge / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / Sip to the sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Pre-Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Vineyard Rose / Feb. 1-3rd, 8-10th, 15-17th / 5:30p-9:00p / $99 per couple, plus tax & gratuity / Celebrate the season of Love. It’s Valentine Month in the Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Why wait to celebrate? Say those 3 special words with a three courses. Includes one glass of select wine per person. / Reservations recommended. Call 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Vineyard Rose / Feb. 14th / 5:30-9:30pm / The Vineyard Rose Restaurant presents the 3rd Annual Wine & Dine your Valentine. Includes a bottle of South Coast wine per couple / $119 per person plus tax & gratuity / Reservations required. Please call 951.497.8077
Live entertainment at the Vineyard Rose / Friday and Saturday nights for the month of February / 6:00-9:00pm

Why Limit Happy to an Hour? / Happy Hours at Vineyard Rose Restaurant Monday-Friday 3:00p-5:30p / Join us in the Vineyard Rose Lounge for reduced priced selected appetizers, award winning select glasses of South Coast wines and local drafts. PLUS corkage fees are waived for any South Coast Winery wine bottles brought in to the Vineyard Rose Restaurant and consumed while dining on Wednesdays too! / Visit www.WineResort.com to view menus and find out more.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours
Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday. $40pp / $35pp Wine Club Member. Get up close and personal as you learn more about our spectacular Southern California winery with a behind-the-scenes tour. From vineyards to crush pad, each tour concludes with a specially prepared wine and food pairing. Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Must be over 21 years of age to attend. Call 800-539-1375 Ext. 350 to reserve your spot today.

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